PhD candidate in Sustainable Operations Management (1.0 fte)

Research / Academic


The School of Industrial Engineering (IE) is one of the longest-established IE Schools in Europe, with a strong presence in the international research and education community, especially in the field of Operations Management (OM) and Operations Research (OR). OM and OR are part of the core of the undergraduate IE program. The graduate programs (MSc and PhD) in Operations Management & Logistics attract top-level students from all over the world. Researchers in the school participate in industrial activities with members of the European Supply Chain Forum, among others. All research is embedded in Beta, the KNAW-recognized research school for Operations Management & Logistics.

The Operations, Planning, Accounting and Control group teaches and conducts research in the area of operations planning and control in manufacturing, services, logistics, and supply chains. Research is generally quantitative in nature, while many of the researchers also engage in empirical research. The OPAC group is responsible within the university for all teaching in the areas of operations management, transportation, manufacturing operations, reliability and maintenance, and accounting and finance, both at undergraduate and graduate level.  

The Human Performance Management group focuses its research and education on work and organizational psychology within an industrial engineering context. Our research questions in general focus on how to optimize people's performance within organizations. In other words, how to design and develop jobs, collaborative relationships, and organizations to ensure high performance in which people can thrive? The HPM group is a diverse group of researchers who value multidisciplinary research, are highly motivated to work on relevant issues and publish in leading journals.

PhD project description

Collaboration for Supply Chain Sustainability

Collaboration between supply chain actors is of paramount importance to improve supply chain wide sustainability (in environmental, social, and financial terms) and to obtain efficient progress. Sustainability requires efforts in terms of time, energy, and financial investments. Those could be spent more efficiently by considering the supply chain as a whole, resulting in collaboration (e.g. developing joint projects) among supply chain actors. Not all firms are equally willing to collaborate, change, and adopt sustainability practices, therefore in this project we will examine the characteristics that indicate adoption potential (including organizational characteristics and decision making of key players in the supply chain) that may help a firm to decide which parties to collaborate with.

The aim of this PhD project is to improve supply chain sustainability through collaboration projects with/among suppliers and/or customers. To understand the collaboration potential of the supply chain actors and to share the knowledge with other suppliers, a methodology will be developed to detect early sustainability adopters and to investigate their characteristics.  To be specific, the project will address the risks, liabilities, and gains of sustainability efforts (investments) of various actors and develop models to optimize the required efforts, taking the willingness-to-collaborate and change explicitly into account.

The following research avenues will need to be explored:
  • Investigate the characteristics that influence sustainability adoption potential of a firm.
  • Model and analyse when and how collaboration improves supply chain sustainability under risks, uncertainties, liabilities, and gains.
  • How to select the best supply chain partners/projects and how to maintain them.
  • Investment and effort optimization among partners/projects.
  • Tasks

    The PhD student is expected to conduct research (including exploratory surveys and analysis), write research papers and a PhD thesis and on the research project, and participate in the PhD education program. A small part of the position involves teaching in courses offered by the group. The research will be executed under the supervision of Dr. Tarkan Tan, Prof.Dr. Eva Demerouti, Dr. Shaunak Dabadghao, and Dr. S. Rispens.


    For the PhD project, applicants should have completed (or be close to completion of) a Master's degree in operations management, operations research, business, industrial engineering, or a related field, with a solid background in quantitative and qualitative research methods. In particular, the ideal candidate would have knowledge in game theory, decision making, and organizational psychology. Fluency in English is required.

    Salary Benefits:

    We offer
  • a challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university;
  • a PhD appointment for a period of 4 years with target start date ASAP or before Fall 2019;
  • gross salary in the range of 31.624€ - 40.430€  per annum (on a full-time basis), this includes 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end of year allowance.
  • a broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, savings schemes, coverage of costs of publishing the dissertation and excellent sports facilities).
  • Work Hours:

    38 hours per week


    De Rondom 70